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Indian Curry

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The word ‘Curry’

Ask anyone in the West what first springs to mind when they think of Indian food and they are most certain to say curry. What does the word curry mean and where did it originate from?

In India, the word curry refers to a sauce or gravy used as an accompaniment to moisten grains of rice or to make rotis more enjoyable.

The word curry is generally believed to be an anglicized version of the south Indian word Kaari, a Tamil word meaning sauce. It is thought that when the British were active in this area, the spelling was somehow changed to curry.

Other theories suggest that the word cury has evolved from the Karhai, which is a commonly used Indian cooking vessel, another suggests that the word existed in English in the context of cooking since the 14th century, and that it was originally derived from the French verb cuire (to cook).

More recent research shows that the history of the curry can be traced way back in time. Archaeological evidence found in Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) mentions a meat dish with a spicy sauce that could have been the first recorded curry.

Today however, there is no doubt that the word curry has become synonymous with a spicy sauce in which meat, poultry, fish or vegetables are cooked.

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